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Another drug dealer jailed as judge warns that in some Bradford areas selling drugs is seen as normal
Street dealing in heroin and crack cocaine was so commonplace in parts of Bradford it was almost considered the “social norm,” the city’s senior judge warned yesterday.
The Recorder of Bradford, Judge Roger Thomas QC, spoke out while continuing to sentence Class A drug dealers netted under Operation Stalebank.
On Friday, Judge Thomas locked up 14 men for more than 44 years as part of the crack down targeting dealers in the West Bowling area.
Yesterday, he sentenced a 19-year-old first-time offender to 27 months in a young offender institution after he was caught three times peddling heroin to undercover police officers near his home.
Joshua Bailey, of Silverdale Road, West Bowling, pleaded guilty to drug dealing on February 18, 19 and 27.
Bradford Crown Court heard that his customers rang the “Josh line” and he was quickly on the scene on foot with wraps of heroin.
Bailey’s barrister, Emma Downing, said he had never been in trouble before. He was not a drug user but was raising money to buy nursery equipment for a new baby.
Judge Thomas said Bailey saw his chance to make money and was recommended by others as a supplier of “good quality” drugs.
He had a cache of heroin close at hand to be delivered quickly.
Judge Thomas said people in the West Bowling area had asked drug users and dealers to move away from their homes and places of work.
One member of the local community spoke of the area “crawling with drug dealers.”
Judge Thomas said some friends and relatives of those locked up in the operation seemed to feel the sentences were too harsh for “simple” drug dealing.
“This is a concerning reaction. It may well reflect the fact that drug use and, indeed, supply of Class A drugs, has become so commonplace in some areas that it is almost accepted as some sort of social norm,” the judge said.